refers to a genre of film developed by and/or for those dedicated to gender
equality and social justice. It was created for the purposes of encouraging
women and their self-beliefs of freedom through sexuality, equality and
pleasure. It should also be noted that feminist pornography aims at redefining
popular notions of masculinity and heterosexuality.
Feminist porn explores
ideas about desire, beauty, pleasure and power through alternate
representations, aesthetics, and film making styles. It seeks to empower the
performers who make it and the people who watch it.
According to the
Feminist Porn Awards, the basic requirements for a film to be considered
feminist are ethics. It includes high
production values, body versatility, erotic sensibility and diversity.
seeks to address the existing issues of sexism within the Mainstream porn
industry as well as create new scope and enable an atmosphere of independent
and creative artistic work.
Feminist porn can be
said to be an emerging genre of pornography that makes use of sexually explicit
imagery. It strives to challenge the
stereotyped and accepted representations of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age,
body types, nationality etc.
The makers acknowledge
the existence of a global Internet community thus respecting and acknowledging
Not only is the film
produced ethically, the makers make sure to emphasize the importance of the
right treatment of their crew members.
There is an emphasis on
female pleasure, consent and representation of marginalized groups. Different kinds and sizes of bodies are
featured. Emphasis is also given to the
back story, dialogue and cinematographic techniques.
Editors Shimzu, Miller
– Young, Penley and Taormino, in their
anthology ‘The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure’, states
that “feminist porn seeks to unsettle conventional definitions of sex and
expand the language of sex as an erotic activity, an expression of identity, a power exchange, a cultural commodity and
even a new politics”.
Pioneers in Feminist Pornography:
original pioneer of feminist porn, Candida Royalle moved from acting in adult
films to making them in 1984. She is credited with being the first person to
make porn movies for straight women. Her Femme line of erotic movies still sell
well years after their release. She received numerous awards for her work
including the Lifetime Achievement in Women’s Erotica award in 2006.
In 1984, she
established Femme Productions to construct films from a woman’s perspective. It was time, she felt, for porn made
from a woman’s perspective, with women viewers in mind, and in 1984 she founded
Royalle’s movies, which had stronger storylines than other adult films
at the time, and strove for positive sexual role modelling, found an audience
and launched a directorial career that has spanned 30 years. Royalle describes
her work as “sensually explicit.”
director, producer and screenwriter, Erika Lust is one of the best
known feminist porn directors. She’s
one of the pioneers of the feminist porn movement.
“It’s about creating that narrative that
tells the story of one, two, three or more consenting adults, giving and
receiving pleasure as sexual equals, and giving attention to the details —
like facial expressions, the hands, body positions etc not just the genitals,”
Lust says. “If someone is having an orgasm, we want to see how their entire
body reacts.” The women in Lust’s movies have diverse body
types. Some have tattoos and full pubic hair. Her films have an art house quality to them and many are set to indie
She runs Lust Cinema which
features a large variety of feminist porn films by numerous directors.
Cheryl Dunye emerged as part of the 1990’s “queer new
wave” of young film and video makers. Dunye’s work is defined by her
distinctive narrative voice. She’s a writer
and director. Dunye races issues of
class, gender and sexual orientation through her movies. Her films mostly focus
on the experiences of black lesbian women. Dunye has described her early films and videos as
‘dunyementaries’, works in which she integrates ‘documentary and fiction,’ but
this style is present in most of her following work as well. Dunye’s narratives are peppered
with deconstructive elements with characters directly addressing the camera and
making ironic references to the production itself. The effect of these devices,
and of Dunye’s appearance in her films and tapes “as herself,” is to
blur the distinctions between fiction and “real life.”
A film school graduate, her works have
become the new gold standard of adult cinema.
Shine Louise Houston first got the idea to
make queer porn while working at an adult store, she recognized an under-served
demand for an alternative to mainstream pornography, and began to create
well-crafted queer made porn. Shine’s films have been recognized among the next
big wave of women produced porn and have been internationally screened from
Amsterdam to New Zealand. She is acknowledged as a pioneer of indie
queer porn and has won numerous awards for her work. She runs Crash Pad
Series and Heavenly Spire.
of Feminist Pornography:
With the advent of
technology and the access to the Internet by the masses and neutral to access
of any age group pornography has become the chief educator among the young ones
as well as the old about sex. By depicting authentic, diverse representations
of women, men and gender queer people, feminist porn acts not only as an
entertainment factor but sexual educator as well as reconstruct the society.
Normalising same sex attraction
as well as the importance of consent is key topic that the younger generation
has to be made aware of. And as long as countries like India do not offer
proper sex education to its students, the young population relies on the
Internet and the media and their peers to educate themselves.
Feminist porn makers
emphasize the importance of their labour practices in production and their
treatment of performers. Feminist porn considers sexual representation – and its
production – a site for resistance, intervention and change.
It seeks to both
address existing issues of sexism within the mainstream pornography industry as
well as create new spaces and paradigms for pornography that challenge